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The bailout’s coalition of the unwilling


Maybe the best news about the House rejection of the Wall Street bailout plan is that the 228-205 vote didn’t break down along party lines.

And the voting appears to have crossed ideological and religious lines.

Could this mean that the monumental plunge into a recession and beyond, heralded by the Crash of ’08, will result in a much-needed restructuring of the two political parties?

It would take an earthshaking event to shake up the parties. But they could sure use it, and so could we, because in so many cases it’s difficult to tell a Democrat from a Republican, and they usually act as one big corporatist party.

A third, a fourth, a fifth party would be nice, much as they have in parliamentary democracies.

For the complete breakdown of the early afternoon vote, see the House clerk’s tally here.

The 228 naysayers were 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats. The 205 supporters of the bailout broke down into 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans.

And the naysayers were a jumbled group that included liberal Democrats — the Udall boys, Grace Napolitano, and Dennis Kucinich — and right-wing Republicans — like Marilyn Musgrave and Todd Akin.

Call them the coalition of the unwilling.

Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly reversed the total numbers of Republican and Democratic opponents of the bailout. As noted above in this post, the correct figures are: Of the 228 “no” votes, 133 were Republicans and 95 were Democrats.



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